A leading provider of internationally-trained healthcare professionals in the United States considers Filipino nurses as one of the most resilient pillars of the US healthcare system.
“Filipino nurses comprise roughly 150,000 or 4 percent of the total nurses in the United States and account for a larger share in certain states such as California,” says Katie Glaser, senior vice president of international operations of PassportUSA. Through its partnership with Health Carousel LLC, Passport USA serves more than 800 client healthcare facilities across the US.
“In terms of population alone, Filipino nurses are critical in ensuring that the US healthcare sector will continue to fulfill its mandate in providing quality medical care for all Americans. Nurses from the Philippines are also appreciated for their character, warm personality, and passion to serve patients to the best of their ability. Indeed, without Filipino nurses, the US healthcare system would have been paralyzed,” Glaser says in an email interview.
PassportUSA is a founding member of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment and is recognized as a certified ethical recruitment firm by the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices.
“Our services are focused on taking care of the wellbeing of our healthcare professionals who choose to build their careers in the United States in every possible way. We take a holistic approach in ensuring their well-being – helping them feel both comfortable and happy with what they are doing while advancing their professional development,” says Glaser, a lawyer who received the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 40 under 40 award in recognition of her work in addressing the complex challenges of helping foreign-trained professionals to jumpstart their careers in the US.
She says the US requires more diverse talents in its healthcare system to address the changing needs of patients who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “The healthcare market right now is aggressively looking for new nurses and healthcare professionals to man the frontlines as COVID-19 cases continue to soar. We expect this trend to continue even in a post-pandemic world as more countries look to further invest in their respective healthcare systems through more infrastructure and employment opportunities,” she says.
Among the sources of trained healthcare professionals they are looking at is the Philippines. Glaser says Passport USA offers unique programs for Filipino nurses. “In the Philippines, we continue to invest in education efforts to help healthcare professionals work towards their eventual US accreditation. Through our partners in Health Carousel Philippines, we help in providing trainings across our different partner hospitals and our partner review centers,” she says.
A recipient of the Health Carousel program is Guadalupe Morales, a Filipino nurse at Monumental Health in South Dakota. Living in the US for more than three years, Morales saw how Filipino nurses play a crucial role in making sure patients get the care they need especially amid the pandemic.
“In South Dakota where I work, the shortage of nurses and healthcare professionals became a cause for concern especially with emerging COVID-19 infections among the most vulnerable. Nurses are not just assistants to doctors as what others easily assume, we help patients, and their families know available treatment options and make sure patients understand their medical decisions,” says Morales.
She says that in the US, Filipino nurses are known for their warm and empathetic approach to care which helps patients become more confident with their medical decisions. “Filipino nurses bring more heart to the US healthcare system which can empower patients and their families to trust the process and our doctors’ recommendations,” she says.
For Filipino nurses who would like to work in the US, Morales advises them to seek a recruitment partner who will prioritize their interests and welfare. “Being an immigrant is not easy especially when we do not know much about the environment and workplace culture in the country where we plan to work. Recruitment agencies are there to help us understand and overcome the complexities and challenges of becoming a nurse in the United States. I am lucky to be a recipient of Health Carousel’s Global Scholarship Program which helped me complete my nursing education and develop the skills needed to be qualified abroad,” she says.
“Because of my recruitment agency partner, I was able to practice my profession seamlessly without having to worry too much about the radical adjustments I needed to adopt,” says Morales.
Glaser also mentions three things that Filipino nurses need to consider before deciding to make the big move in the United States. These include preparing for the National Council Licensure Examination, looking for a recruitment agency that is fair and transparent in their terms and conditions, transactions, and roadmap, and considering their prospects after getting into the United States.
“Adjusting to a new country is one of the most difficult transitions every immigrant faces especially when the environment, culture and communities are different from what they were used to. Overall, Filipino nurses need all the help they can get in order to jumpstart their careers in the US, and we ensure we guide them in every step of the process,” says Glaser.
She says Health Carousel LLC and PassportUSA are ready to help addressing these three concerns leading to better opportunities for Filipino nurses aspiring to achieve their own version of the American dream.
“At Health Carousel LLC, we look at connecting Filipino nurses with our partner hospitals looking for world-class talent to address the various needs of patients. Our partners in Health Carousel Philippines provide opportunities in order to elevate the qualifications of Filipino nurses who aspire to work in the United States. Together with our partner hospitals, we provide a list of potential employment for Filipino nurses who are looking for new career opportunities,” she says.
Once they passed the NCLEX, Filipino nurses will be assisted by Health Carousel in their employment prospects, immigration and adjustment in the United States.
“Overall, recruitment agencies in the Philippines can help Filipino nurses by opening new opportunities for them to advance their careers and qualifications locally so that they can compete internationally. It is important that recruitment agencies implement ethical and sustainable healthcare staffing practices which will contribute to continued growth and opportunities for Filipino nurses,” says Glaser.
Glaser believes that the Philippines has huge potential to be one of the global leaders in nursing education, “if we maximize the right opportunities and recruitment agencies will play a vital role to help address and balance local and international demand for world-class nursing talent.”